Morningstar Fund Ratings: Weekly Round-up

In this week's ratings round-up, we unveil the latest upgrades and downgrades from Morningstar's analysts

Natalia Wolfstetter 15 February, 2022 | 9:56AM
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New Ratings

Berenberg European Focus Fund I – Silver

Berenberg Eurozone Focus I – Bronze

Natalia Wolfstetter

The funds boast a lead manager with strong credentials, a cohesive management team and sound investment process, underpinning the People and Process Pillar ratings of Above Average. These translate into Morningstar Analyst Ratings ranging from Silver for cheaper share classes to Bronze and Neutral for pricier ones. Matthias Born has been at the helm of the funds since launch in 2017. His approach leans on the same quality-growth process that he applied successfully at AllianzGI's European and eurozone growth strategies, which he comanaged from 2009-17.

At Berenberg, Born has assembled a close-knit team of 14 that includes five small-cap specialists. They apply a distinct and well-structured approach based on rigorous fundamental research to identify strong structural growers with long-term earnings power and healthy balance sheets.

Neuberger Berman US Small Cap Intrinsic Value $I Acc – Bronze

Natalia Wolfstetter

Neuberger Berman Intrinsic Value benefits from a well-tenured and cohesive team. Lead manager Benjamin Nahum has anchored the separate account version of this strategy since its 1997 inception. Comanagers Amit Solomon and James McAree have worked with Nahum since 2002 and 2005, respectively. Seasoned analysts Rand Gesing and Scott Hoina back the managers. The five-member investment team joined Neuberger Berman via a 2008 acquisition of its predecessor firm, David J. Greene & Company, and it has had little turnover since then. The team employs an appealing benchmark-agnostic, intrinsic-value approach. It searches for what it believes to be temporarily out-of[1]favor small-cap companies. The experienced team and effective approach earn it Morningstar Analyst Ratings ranging from Bronze to Neutral, depending on share class.

Threadneedle (Lux) European High Yield Bond ZE – Neutral

Mara Dobrescu, CFA

Threadneedle (Lux) European High Yield Bond stacks up well against its peers when it comes to team size and experience, and a conservative approach has helped in more stressed periods. The strength of the underlying resources and investment philosophy continue to drive this strategy’s appeal. The fund’s cheapest share classes earn a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze, with more expensive options being rated Neutral. The latter include the fund’s clean share class ZE.

Downgrades

Capital Group Japan Equity Z – Neutral from Bronze

Daniel Haydon

There has been some notable team turnover on the Capital Group Japan Equity strategy in recent years, including the upcoming retirement of Seung Kwak, the long-time lead manager. This affects portfolio structure within this multimanager set up. However, change here is somewhat tempered by the long[1]established team structure and history of well-managed manager transitions at Capital Group, combined with well-articulated investment philosophies and high levels of industry experience. Overall, this leads to a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Neutral across all share classes.

As part of Morningstar's enhanced methodology for Analyst Ratings, different share classes have different Ratings

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Natalia Wolfstetter  ist Director Fund Analysis bei Morningstar